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xConnectNW 131 - Cougar Athletic Fund

Uri Farkas explains how the Cougar Athletic Fund supports student-athletes.

Producer: Evelyn Ojwang, Associate Producer
Online Version: Evelyn Ojwang
Posted: September 28, 2015 | 2:00 p.m.

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Uri Farkas, Assistant Athletic Director of Annual Giving, talks with us in detail about the Cougar Athletic Fund and how the fundraising arm behind WSU Athletics plays a key role in supporting student-athletes.

The Cougar Athletic Fund, or CAF for short, has a simple mission, Farkas said, and that mission is covering the annual cost of student-athlete scholarships. These costs are solely raised from private philanthropic support with more than 6,000 members in CAF. Along with raising scholarship dollars, Farkas talks about how CAF allocates funds to the ongoing athletic facilities underway and additionally, how those funds increase endowment. With WSU being a part of the Pac-12, there is competition to keep up with other schools with their means of fundraising by keeping student-athletes here and constantly improving the athletic facilities that foster the growth of the WSU Athletics program.

The main difference between CAF and other fundraising arms is forming a strong, united donor base with the love of cougs and the love of athletics. Currently, CAF has launched a campaign to increase membership and create awareness. "Our mantra for a number of years has been, be a member, join the team," Farkas said. The Cougars Are You In campaign takes that message one step further to challenge the cougar commitment already instilled, and solidify that loyalty by becoming a member the fund.

A number of projects are underway with CAF but in the grand scheme of things, the overall goal is to be the most supported school in the Pac-12 and to achieve that, different strategies are made to accommodate and reach out to different regions of the state from Tri-Cities to Spokane and the Greater Seattle Area. 

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